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About Talking with Your Child.

Talking or conversing with your child is an exchange of ideas or feelings. Therefore, it is important to be a listener as well as a speaker in this turn taking exchange. When you listen, your child is more likely to talk to you.


Starting and Continuing Conversation


The following suggestions may help you and your child improve conversational skills:

  1. Establish eye contact when listening and talking to your child.
  2. Use facial expressions and enthusiasm (ex. smiling, nodding, etc.). These may be as important as what you say.
  3. Attempt to make the topic of conversation positive. Avoid routinely using commands and corrections.
  4. Pause to give your child a chance to respond. Turn taking is important.
  5. Use prompts such as "why", "how", "what happens next" to help keep a conversation flowing.  Avoid using questions requiring yes - no, or one word responses.
  6. Make sure the topics of conversation are of interest to both you and your child.
  7. Keep your sentences short and simple. Don't overwhelm your child with too much information at one time
  8. Remember that your conversations with others provide a model for your child.


Suggested Activities


The following suggestions may be helpful in starting a conversation with your child:

  1. Start a conversation about a routine activity that your child enjoys, such as cooking dinner.
  2. iscuss what you are doing while you are doing it. Saying something about yourself can be another useful way to start a conversation.
  3. Set aside time to play with your child, as a child will often initiate conversation at these times.
    If you are planning a trip, talk about what you expect to happen and see. After returning, talk about what you saw and did.
  4. Have your child help plan an activity such as a birthday party, holiday event, menu, or day trip.
  5. Topics children often like to talk about:
    • Cartoons
    • Sports/Games
    • Pets
    • Child's Friends
    • Books
    • Family Activities
    • Movies/Music
    • Favorite Toys

Remembering, talking with your child means listening, paying attention, and taking turns.


Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency "Helping Schools Help Children"


For more information, contact the Mississippi Bend Area Education Area Education Agency center nearest you.

Bettendorf Service Center
729 - 21st Street
Bettendorf, IA 52722
(563) 359-1371

2001 Manufacturing Court
Clinton, IA 52732
Phone: (563) 242-6454
(563) 242-6468

Muscatine Service Center
1422 Houser Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
(563) 263-8476

© 2021 Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency